February 24, 2017 / 1:23 PM / in 6 months

Novartis wins CHMP nod for drug combo against some lung cancers

The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland January 25, 2017.Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis's (NOVN.S) drugs Tafinlar and Mekinist edged closer to approval in Europe to be used together against a type of lung cancer after a key committee on Friday published a recommendation to expand the combination's indications.

The European Medicine Agency's (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended Tafinlar in combination with Mekinist for adult patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a mutation. The EMA still must issue a final decision.

Novartis, whose combination competes with Roche's (ROG.S) Cotellic and Zelboraf, said in a statement that its drugs will be the first targeted therapy for BRAF V600-mutated NSCLC patients if the EMA follows the recommendation, as is likely.

Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields

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